A Millennial considers adulthood
According to Google, the definition of a Millennial is as followed:
"Millennials are the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000's..." Unfortunately, as much as I want to un-see what I saw, I am a Millennial. God, help me.
And I'm over 30... Holy Crap! When did this happen?!?
I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact I have forgotten that I cracked the triple DECADE mark more than 2 years ago, or that EVERY story my parents told me about getting older looks to be true...
1. Everything really does hurt.; all the time.
2. Food sticks to you.
3. I am lecturing kids (notice I said kids) 10 years younger what NOT to do...
4. The most dangerous thing I can do to my body is simply GO TO SLEEP:
Night = 100% I'm fine.
Morning = I apparently sparred with Apollo Creed overnight...
6. I don't have time to workout. And I'm a Personal Trainer!
7. I need a nap or I might throw a temper tantrum.
8. Knees. Shoulders. Back. 'Nuff said.
9. I FORGOT the last point. Great, now there's memory loss.
Well, this is reality now. I just never thought I'd be the one living it--but then again, I don't think anyone my age or older did either. So, what are you to do when you suddenly realize that you have become the next generation of your parents? How do you start AND continue a winning workout and health lifestyle?
As much as I don't like 'tip' articles, I felt compelled. Here are my top 5:
1. Quit Dreaming. Be Intentional
As you are finding out, life seems to be getting a bit more complicated. Kids, jobs, relationships, etc. but we still want to get in shape. So, unfortunately, you're going to have to stop hoping your workouts will magically start or that you will be INSPIRED to turn away those cookies after dinner. No, I'm afraid you're going to have to start doing things on purpose. One thing I've discovered with both clients AND myself is that life is not going to stop happening so I can workout.
It has to be intentional.
That's a larger concept to grasp than it would seem. It brings it down from this thing we see in magazines and on tv--the illusion or the dream of working out--and pulls it into reality. The idea of working out has to move from a Rocky movie into the category of a "non negotiable" activity. It's not something that is debatable or tradable. It becomes the same as showering or brushing your teeth--just something you do. Every day. Without question.
And if you don't brush your teeth every day... Well. Ewww.
2. Focus on becoming leaner and Eat LESS
My training mentor enlightened me to this concept over 10 years ago; and it took me almost that long to actually listen. I was always under the impression that I wanted to gain muscle and lose fat--preferably at the same time. All the magazines told me I could. They weren't lying, but they sure weren't telling the truth.
My mentor taught me to always focus on leanness first. The reason is simple when you stop and think about it. Your body is like a tantrum-throwing toddler. It wants that toy at the check-out line. It wants it baaaaadddddddddddd... It will lay down and kick and scream until you buy the toy. So you break down and do it just to have some peace and quiet.
In the adult world that toy is FOOD.
And you're body will stop at nothing to keep shooting hunger pangs, until you give in. You have to reset that mechanism. You have to teach youself to EAT. LESS. FOOD. That is where the majority of retooling begins to take place. The only way to teach the body how to be lean is to make it behave. It has to deal with a little discomfort, a little pain, in order for change to take place. And all you have to do is one simple thing:
You must convice yourself (because it's true) that you will be just as full if you eat what you cooked for yourself, as you would when you drive thru PopEye's and get the number 4 meal... Hunger pangs will dissapate and you'll be fine. I promise. Unless you start showing yourself some restriciton, you can never begin to teach the body to lose fat; because you have not created an environment in which the body needs to feed on its own stores.
Oh, and don't worry about "burning muscle". The body will lose roughly x10 amount of body fat to muscle for the simple reason that the muscle is needed for this new found set of activities you are participating in. And if I'm half wrong, you'll still thank me.
3. Keep your diet super simple
For some reason, we cannot just accept the concept of Eat Less / Move More. We think getting in shape has to be more complicated / more directed then that. It's not. All fitness programs work--if you participate. Something as simple as running a mile a day will show massive results to someone who did not use to do it. Keep it simple, manageable and you will be much more successful.
For every single CLEANSE or FAD DIET in the market today, there is a very simple alternative. People seem to be fascinated with over complicating their diets... Meanwhile, figure competitors, body builders, fitness models, ect are just shaking their heads and wondering what the populace just doesn't get. They have been doing the same things for over 75 years. No magic. No smoke, no mirrors. Just real fruit, veggies, meats, nuts, grains. Try it.
4. Learn to workout in the MORNING
Other than being really early, you will have a hard time finding a downside to this strategy. It lets you burn more body fat due to being in a fasted state. You will rarely run into an obstacle due to the fact that NOTHING else has had a chance to go wrong in the world. Also, once it's done, you can relax knowing that when your REAL job is done for the day--you can truly be done. And finally, working out early in the day puts your mind on the right track for the rest of the day. It enhances your awareness of the food and drink you consume--making you less likely to fall off the wagon.
5. The old school is the best school
Are you aware that there hasn't been any massive revelations in the fitness industry?
I know what you're thinking:
What about Crossfit?
What about Body Beast?
Slim in 6?
Made my point yet?
All of these protocols & diets are nothing more than variations on the core principles that all of physiology is built on. Nothing more. Sure, there are studies that back up all of these methods, but other studies have been done that invalidate them. There are testimonials fore each and every method listed above, but you know what they all have in common?
Basically, I can find anything I want to on PubMed that will either back up or discount anything I want when it comes to fitness and physique. So what's the answer? The answer is just to go with what has always worked:
Have Passion for Exercise
Nothing fancy, nothing extreme, just something that works and will continue to work long into the future.